Civic Trust News 2017

Spring 2017

Does Localism work in Rolleston

On the 20th October 2011 The Parish Council called the first meeting of the Rolleston on Dove Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group, who were to be tasked with developing a plan to outline a vision for the future of Rolleston on Dove which would be accepted by the majority of the Community, The need for this plan was outlined in the new Localism Bill recently passed by Parliament which was to give local communities a say in the planning of their towns and villages.

The Civic Trust did express concern in an article in the Rollestonian at that time as to what the order of precedence of the three different plans to be developed under this act would be, the three plans being the National Plan, The Local Plan, i.e. East Staffs Borough Council’s plan, or our Neighbourhood Plan. Did this really mean we would have a say in the future development of our village and would Localism work for Rolleston?

Well now we know.

Rolleston’s Neighbourhood Plan was submitted to East Staffs Borough Council with a request that it be presented for independent examination in May 2013. In October 2013 The Independent Examiner advised “I am pleased to recommend to East Staffordshire Borough Council that the Rolleston on Dove Neighbourhood Development Plan should, subject to the modifications I have put forward, proceed to referendum”. East Staffs did not follow this advice and effectively blocked the progress of our Neighbourhood Plan.

The history from then on is well known as is the reason for the failure to hold a referendum, our Neighbourhood Plan did not include a certain development on a certain College Playing Field Site. Rolleston did not want it.

In October 2015, some two years later, East Staffs finally produced their Local Plan which did include a certain College Playing Field site. The Secretary of State, in November 2016, following the long saga of the planning appeal re this development, decided that The Local Plan, which designated Rolleston a Strategic Village, and labelled site as a Strategic Development, overrode our Neighbourhood Plan and the wishes of the majority of the residents of Rolleston. Permission was granted for the development which the majority of Rolleston residents did not want.

In an article in the local press a spokesperson from Burton College said they were pleased to have received a favourable final decision and suggested it was time for the people of Rolleston to accept the situation and that all parties could now move forward.

We can only conclude that Rolleston is a localism free zone.

But let’s ask a few questions.

The decision by ESBC to classify Rolleston as a Strategic village on a par with Barton and Tutbury, and to classify the College Playing Field Development as a Strategic Development, implies there is a strategy at work for Rolleston, and that that strategy is one of ESBC’s making. What could their strategy be? The strategy was developed some years ago, certainly before Localism was the new Government buzz word.

Was their plan to actually make Rolleston a strategic village, something Rolleston clearly is not, as The Parish Council pointed out to ESBC at the time. Are they going to provide us with our own Village Hall, perhaps matching those proudly boasted of by the residents of Barton and Tutbury? Perhaps also a medical practice, public facilities and a bank, all the facilities required to persuade people from surrounding areas to come to Rolleston to fulfil their needs, as they do in Barton and Tutbury.

Or was their plan all along to make sure The College Playing Field Development went ahead and that Burton College should benefit fully from the sale of this past village asset gifted to them? Further, what were the proceeds to be used for?

How could this be, surely such a strategy benefits Burton College alone, not ESBC or the residents of Rolleston? The Residents of Rolleston on Dove would like to know.

The Civic Trust would like to invite a representative from East Staffs Planning Department to attend one of our public meetings to explain this strategy. We will let you know if this invitation is accepted.

Peter Barnett, Chairman

Tree Project

The survey carried out to assess the number of significant oak trees, and in certain places additional species, is about 80% complete and has identified the position of 125 significant oak trees and 85 other species of tree. Most of these trees are in hedgerows or on Council land.

As reported in the Summer 2016 Rollestonian the aim of Project is to increase the total population of trees within the Rolleston on Dove Parish Boundary and support was requested from people to identify what trees were in their gardens. Response to the article has been minimal and as Spring is fast approaching before we go much farther we need buy in from the Parish Council to plant trees on their land. We did approach them in October to see if they were in favour of the Project and in agreement to planting trees on their land. The response was guarded but their reply included, "It was agreed that the PC are in principle in favour of the initiative, and are not sure the number proposed is enough." In the letter to the PC we had proposed planting 17 trees in 2017; 18 in 2018 etc., hence in 10 years we would nearly double the population. The Woodland Trust will support tree planting projects by supplying trees free, but written consent from the landowner is required.

Please support this project so that we provide the future generations with a landscape including lovely trees.


After starting the year with our January speaker Richard Stone, examining whether or not Richard III had his nephews murdered in the Tower, we then had Dot Morson giving us an ‘A to Z of Calke’ in February. On March 15th Heather Herrington will be talking about the filming of ‘The Duchess’ at Kedleston and Shirley Horton will be offering us ‘One for the Road’ on April 19th. Our monthly meetings are held at Rolleston Cricket Club, 7.30pm for an 8pm start.

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Last updated: 10 March 2017